The Welsh Joe Allen
Mediawatch is confused. There is no mention of Xavi, Andrea Pirlo or Emile Heskey in Thursday’s editions – both newspaper and online – of the Daily Mail and The Sun. Didn’t he score the first goal?
Hit the road, Jack
‘Jack Grealish intends to stay and fight for his future at Aston Villa but his career continues to dramatically nose-dive under Remi Garde,’ writes James Nursey in the Daily Mirror.
And so concludes the oft-repeated cycle of ‘Stage 1) Build ’em up. Stage 2) Knock ’em down. Stage 3) Ask why they’re on the floor.
Nobody’s got a clue
‘Liverpool have made an offer of €32m (£24.6m) for the Shakhtar Donetsk forward Alex Teixeira’ – The Guardian, who say Shakhtar ‘want more than £30m’.
‘Liverpool have tabled an offer of £24.5million for Shakhtar Donetsk’s Brazilian attacker Alex Teixeira’ – the Liverpool Echo, who say Shakhtar ‘value the player at around £38.5million’.
‘Liverpool move for £23m-rated Chelsea target Alex Teixeira’ – the Daily Mail, who say Shakhtar are ‘willing to sell for £29m’.
‘Liverpool bid £24.5million for Shakhtar Donetsk forward Alex Teixeira’ – the Daily Mirror, who say Shakhtar want around £36m.
‘Liverpool to hijack Chelsea’s £25million move for Brazilian star’ – the Daily Express, who say Shakhtar ‘want nearer £39m’.
‘Liverpool bid £24 million for Alex Teixeira’ – The Times, who say Shakhtar ‘value Teixeira at closer to £40m’.
So Liverpool have bid £23m/£24m/£24.5m/£24.6m/£25m for Teixeira, but Shakhtar want £29m/£30m/£36m/£38.5m/£39m.
Cheers for clearing that one up.
Liverpool eased past Exeter in their FA Cup third-round replay at Anfield on Wednesday, but Phil Thomas was not impressed. No siree. In fact, he was rather critical of the Reds in his piece for The Sun.
‘Liverpool may have had all the ball, all the chances and all the territory, but in terms of excitement? You would get more watching them work on construction for the new main stand. In fact little wonder there’s a joke doing the rounds that Liverpool are considering digging up Anfield and planting potatoes. It is the only way they can guarantee lifting anything in May.’
Is this the Liverpool team in the fourth round of the FA Cup? And the last-32 of the Europa League, where they face a team 12th in the Bundesliga? Oh, and the same side who hold a 1-0 advantage after one leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final?
Progress in three cup competitions, but unlikely to win a trophy come May. Welcome to Anfield, Jurgen.
Also, don’t go round to Thomas’ house for a chippy tea. The best time to dig up potatoes is June-September.
Just eight months after winning the Premier League title, this season looks beyond all hope for Chelsea. Brian Reade has more bad news for the Stamford Bridge faithful in his Daily Mirror column.
‘There have been many ominous sights for Chelsea fans to digest these past five traumatic months,’ writes Reade. ‘Seeing the back of their greatest-ever manager, then watching the players, who many believe got him sacked, suddenly up their game.’
Reade then discusses struggles against relegation, dips in form from first team players and the likelihood of losing Eden Hazard or Thibaut Courtois in the summer. All terrible. Leave it to Reade to stick the knife in.
‘There was one sight, picked up by Saturday’s Match Of The Day cameras, which may have left fans more concerned.’
Crikey, this sounds bad. Was it the hooded figure of Jose Mourinho standing behind Guus Hiddink in the dugout? Was it John Terry allegedly chatting to Stamford the Lion’s wife?
No, it was ‘a bored, miserable and lonely-looking Roman Abramovich, texting on his phone in the private box during the fortunate draw with Everton.’
The owner had the temerity to send a text – using his phone – during the match with Everton on Saturday. Reade uses the next 588 words to explain how Abramovich could be ‘offski’ in the near-future. Because he sent a text during a game. Mediawatch is just surprised the Russian hasn’t already sold up.
Cultural relations, part two
Mediawatch was aghast on Wednesday after discovering that Sunderland would be hosting an evening with ‘comedian’ Roy Chubby Brown, he of controversial, slightly questionable jokes fame – we’re biting our fists. Coupled with the club’s official partnership with Invest In Africa, it raised more than a few eyebrows.
Elsewhere on the Sunderland website, the club are celebrating an anniversary. The 20th anniversary of the ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ campaign – a group staunchly backed by the club – to be exact.
Maybe they could provide an evening of entertainment to commemorate this? Perhaps they could book a comedian? Then again…
Wenger playing very amusing verbal jousting with Sky's Andy Burton. If Chelsea go down will it make them specialists in failure?
— John Cross (@johncrossmirror) January 21, 2016
Wenger "I see where you want to take me, but I'm not prepared to travel." Wenger laughing, enjoying the banter
— John Cross (@johncrossmirror) January 21, 2016
He’s properly besotted. But Mediawatch is sold on using the phrase ‘amusing verbal jousting’ over ‘banter’.
Metr-oh dear, part one
‘Wenger gives exciting update on Arsenal transfer plans for next two weeks,’ reads the headline on The Metro‘s website.
Actual quotes from Wenger: “At the moment I expect our last ten days to be quiet.”
Mediawatch has p*ssed itself. All too ‘exciting’.
Metr-oh dear, part two
‘Tottenham have already agreed superstar forward deal ahead of Man Utd – report,’ reads another headline on The Metro‘s website.
Spurs have first refusal on Gareth Bale as part of his transfer to Real Madrid in 2013.
Serg of confidence
Wilfried Bony has been linked with a move away from Manchester City by some quarters this month. The striker has started just nine Premier League games this season, scoring four goals. Bony is adamant that he is not looking to move, however.
‘Wilfried Bony has committed his future to Manchester City by insisting he has no plans to leaves,’ writes Mike Whalley in the Daily Express. ‘The striker has been frequently left out of the starting line-up because boss Manuel Pellegrini prefers to play Sergio Aguero as his main striker.’
Well of course he bloody does.
Winter is coming
Should we be expecting more of this now Henry is under the Rupert-brella?
Watch Andrea Pirlo, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard take target challenge https://t.co/o6RAXqrdAf via SkySports
— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) January 21, 2016
Consider the following, the first paragraph to a piece by Steve Madeley in the Daily Express:
‘Aston Villa’s new chairman says owner Randy Lerner wants to turn them into one of the Premier League’s best-run clubs.’
‘Oh for fu…’ headline of the day
‘Emmanuel Adebayor shops at Harrods to spruce up his London home as former Tottenham striker eyes Crystal Palace move’
Note to the MailOnline: THIS IS NOT NEWS.
Headline of the day
‘TAKING THE PEACE’ – The Sun.
Worst headline of the day
‘IT’S ALL GOT BERA COMPLICATED’ – the Daily Mirror. ‘Bera’ sounds nothing like ‘very’. Stop doing this.
Recommended reading of the day
Barney Ronay on the life of academy graduates.
James Horncastle on an old-time Serie A title battle.
Sam Tighe on Daniel Amartey.
Thanks to John Goy. If you see anything that belongs on this page, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, putting ‘Mediawatch’ in the subject field.